Laos makes strides in monitoring state affairs
Officials who carry out inspections need to be more competent so they can be relied upon to capably implement their political duties and ensure a successful outcome.
This fact was highlighted by the Party and government in a document listing the lessons learnt from past inspection work. The document was circulated at a recent event to mark the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Party and the Government Inspection Authority.
In the document, the Party and government acknowledged the weaknesses and shortcomings of inspections, which they said led to undesirable conduct and the loss of state resources. Unfortunately, the numerous offenders involved had not been disciplined.
Last year, Laos had more than 2,500 inspectors, who attended training courses at home and in other countries. But the inspection authority recognised that this work was not being carried out sufficiently diligently within each Party organisation, and some officials did not take their responsibilities seriously.
In addressing these issues, the authority called on Party committees at every level to actively guide inspection activities, and to develop themselves as strong counsellors to all levels of administration.
The authority stressed the importance of having highly responsible, honest, and eager-to-learn inspectors, who were familiar with Party directives and policies, laws and other state regulations. They should be intelligent and firm and apply the rules strictly but fairly.
The Party and government's inspection and anti-corruption effort has resulted in Laos being ranked 123 out of 176 countries in the latest Corruption Perception Index produced by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International, which saw Laos move up 16 places from 139 in 2015 to 123 in 2016.
Notable steps taken by the government in this regard were the clampdowns on illegal logging, fuel tariff exemptions, and inflated electricity bills.
Inspections were carried out among 734 targets from 2011 to 2016.
These revealed losses exceeding 4 trillion kip, US$70 million, 36 million baht, and 500,000 yuan due to corrupt activities. More than 3 million cubic metres of timber were found to have been illegally harvested or sold.
The inspections also found that a large number of civil servants had violated the law. Of these, 165 were disciplined, 28 people were taken to court for sentencing, two were sentenced to life imprisonment, and 39 are the subject of lawsuits.
The authority has received more than 3,600 complaints in recent years, and has attempted to follow up some of the claims. Officials uncovered misconduct in relation to development project discount disbursements, which caused the loss of 700 billion kip of state resources. A total of 37 people are now the subject of lawsuits in connection with these offences.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 10, 2017)